Ocean Springs PD looking for two suspected copper thieves

Jaime Parfait and Joshua Phelps (Photo source: Ocean Springs Police Dept.)
Jaime Parfait and Joshua Phelps (Photo source: Ocean Springs Police Dept.)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs Police are hoping you can help them find two suspected copper thieves. The search has turned up little since the crime happened last month at the city's public works department.

Public Works Director Andre Kaufman said he gets angry every time he thinks of the $4,000 worth of copper wire stolen from the city's warehouse.

"To find out they cut the fence to come in here, and we got 14 cameras. We caught them on camera," Kaufman said. "They had to be some of the world's dumbest crooks."

Police nabbed one suspect less than a week after the crime, and also recovered a large amount of the copper during a traffic stop in Saucier.  But two other suspects, Jaime Parfait and Joshua Phelps, are still on the run.

OSPD Officer John Flowers said Phelps had been inside the public works warehouse before.

"Mr. Phelps was a former inmate worker just a few weeks prior to the burglary," Flowers said. "He was recently released from the Mississippi Department of Corrections and therefore he knew layout of the property."

Authorities coast-wide have been on alert looking for the pair.

"If you have an individual that has committed this crime and he is avoiding arrest, at this point what's to stop him from doing it again?" Flowers asked. "He knows it was wrong in the first place and he chose to go there and commit this crime along with his female accomplice."

The Ocean Springs Public Works Director agrees and can't wait until the suspects are behind bars. Kaufman said when copper, or anything, is taken from city, it eventually affects every resident.

"Every dollar in public works, whether it be in facilities, equipment, manpower, labor costs is taxpayers' money. When something is stolen, misused, abused, trashed or whatever it may be, is just a waste of taxpayer's money," said Kaufman.

According to investigators, there have been at least ten reports of copper thefts this year in Ocean Springs. Anyone with any information about this crime or know the suspects' whereabouts, please call Ocean Springs Police Department at (228) 875-2211.

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